10 Tips for Winterizing Your Home

Winter has arrived. You can tell by the leafless trees, early sunsets, and layer of frost in the morning. If you haven’t winterized your home yet, you still have time. Use these winterization tips to keep your home safe, efficient and warm this winter.

1. Schedule Maintenance for Your Heating Equipment

Your furnace has been unused all summer. To prepare it for another heating season, arrange for a visit from a qualified technician to examine, clean and tune up the equipment. The most cost-effective way to keep your heating system in tip-top shape over time is to subscribe to a Maintenance+ membership.

2. Have Your Fireplace Inspected

Get a professional to examine and clean your wood-burning stove or fireplace once per year. This service takes care of ash, soot and creosote buildup, which can trigger chimney fires. It also gives you peace of mind that the masonry, chimney liner, crown, and other fireplace components are in suitable condition.

3. Seal Air Leaks

As you start to run your furnace more often, search for and seal air leaks that enable cold outdoor air to get inside. The easiest way to notice leaks is to hold a lit candle or incense stick all around areas that may be leaky, like near windows and doors, recessed light fixtures, plumbing penetrations and electrical outlets. Then, seal the leaks you’ve found with weatherstripping, caulk, foam gaskets and expanding spray foam.

4. Run Ceiling Fans in Reverse

Ceiling fans keep you cool over the summer, but they can also distribute warm air down to the living space during the winter. For better results, set your fans on low and run them in reverse. This method is most effective in stairwells and rooms with tall ceilings.

5. Install Insulating Drapes

An additional way to winterize your home is to trade out light, summery window coverings for thick, insulating drapes. Be sure to pull back the drapes during the day so the sun continues warming your home for free. Then, close the curtains after dark for added insulation against the frigid night air.

6. Insulate Your Pipes

As the temperature drops, exposed pipes are at risk of freezing and bursting. Add foam pipe insulation to plumbing in the garage, crawlspace or unfinished basement to minimize the risk. Electric heat tape under the insulation gives you an added layer of protection in very cold climates.

7. Install Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Sealing up your house, baking more and heating with combustion appliances raises the risk of home fires and carbon monoxide poisoning over the winter. Exercise caution with matches, candles and other open flames, and make sure your smoke alarms are working. Then, add CO detectors on every floor of your home, especially outside sleeping areas. Test your alarms every month and swap out the batteries twice a year.

8. Upgrade to a Programmable Thermostat

Do you still use an old analog thermostat? You might save on heating bills this winter by upgrading to a programmable model. Pre-programmed settings optimize the temperature at different times of the day, so you can set it and forget it. A Wi-Fi thermostat is an innovative option that lets you change the settings remotely using an internet-enabled device. You also benefit from automatically generated energy reports and maintenance advice.

9. Prevent Ice Dams

Ice dams are ridges of ice that develop along the eaves, preventing melted snow from falling off the roof. When ignored, ice dams can allow water to get under the shingles and damage structural elements in the attic. Follow these tips to deter ice dams this winter:

    • Clean the gutters so water can clear away like it should.
    • Ventilate the attic to prevent heat buildup that can melt snow from beneath.
    • Seal attic floor penetrations to stop warm air from rising through the ceiling.
    • Insulate the attic floor to further restrict heat transfer through the ceiling.
    • Seal and insulate ductwork running through the attic.
    • Ensure your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans and the dryer vent lead outdoors, not into the attic.

10. Keep Deicer Close By

Slips and falls are more common in cold winter weather. Keep your sidewalks and driveway safe for pedestrians by applying salt, kitty litter or chemical deicer along the pavement to melt the ice and snow. Remember to read the directions for specific application tips and any potential precautions.

Winterizing Your Home with Winnipeg Supply Service Experts

Many winterization tips relate directly to your home heating, cooling,and plumbing utilities. If you need help winterizing your home, reach out to Winnipeg Supply Service Experts. We offer affordable furnace maintenance and repair, plumbing support, and other services to prepare you for cold weather. For more info about our services or to {request|schedule|arrange]] an estimate, please contact your local Winnipeg Supply Service Experts office today.

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